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European Technology Platform NANOMEDICINE

In the framework of the "Workplan 2008 for the ETP Nanomedicine", approved at the General Assemblies of September 2007 Chalkidiki and January 2008 Brussels, the tender for hosting the ETP Office was published in the first quarter of 2008 and successfully concluded in the second quarter of 2008. The company VDI/VDE-IT GmbH will be hosting the ETP Office, executing the principal administrative, financial, communications, information exchange, coordination, organisational and certain representative tasks. Thereby a significant increase in visibility, collaboration efficiency and overall impact is expected for the ETP Nanomedicine. The contents of this webpage will be gradually transferred into the framework of the new ETP website. For the newest information please refer to the new ETP Nanomedicine website at http://www.etp-nanomedicine.eu/public.

Nanotechnology for Health

NanoMedicine, for the purpose of the Strategic Research Agenda, is defined as the application of nanotechnology to achieve breakthroughs in healthcare. It exploits the improved and often novel physical, chemical and biological properties of materials at the nanometer scale. Nanomedicine has the potential to enable early detection and prevention, and to essentially improve diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of diseases.


Vision Document (1 MB)

Strategic Research Agenda (3.5 MB)

The Challenge

Mankind is still fighting against a high number of serious and complex illnesses like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes as well as different kinds of serious inflammatory or infectious diseases (e.g. HIV). Most of theses diseases have a tremendous negative impact not only on the patient himself but also on the whole society and linked social and insurance systems. It is of utmost importance to face these plagues with appropriate means.

Nanomedicine, the application of nanotechnology to health, raises high expectations for millions of patients for better, more efficient and affordable healthcare and has the potential of delivering promising solutions to many illnesses. Research in nanomedicine will allow for a better understanding of the functioning of the human body at molecular and nanometric level and it will thus give us the possibility to intervene better at pre-symptomatic, acute or chronic stage of illnesses.

Several areas of medical care are already benefiting from the advantages that nanotechnology can offer. The first nanotechnology-based targeted drug delivery systems are already on the market, others are in clinical trials or, by far the largest part, are under development. Another highly attractive area of nanomedicine is diagnostics at nanoscale. The aim is to identify a disease at the earliest possible stage. Ideally already a single cell with ill behaviour would be detected and cured or eliminated. New concepts for regenerative medicine give hope to many patients with organ failure or severe injuries. Already today artificial skin, bone and cartilage are in an advanced stage of development and partly already on the market.

The promising possibilities that nanomedicine might offer in the future have to be counterweighted against possible risks of this new technology. It is of utmost importance to examine upfront with care and responsibility its possible side effects to human beings and the environment. Several European projects are already dealing with this highly important issue. Also ethical concerns have to be taken into account. It may also be necessary to examine existing legislation for its applicability to nanomedicine.

Industry has increasing interest in stepping into the area of nanomedicine and the expected market share of final products is expected to be significant. In addition to the improved quality of health care, the creation of new jobs can be expected.

An important initiative, led by industry, has been set up together with the European Commission. A group of 53 European stakeholders, composed of industrial and academic experts, has established a European Technology Platform on nanomedicine. The first task of this high level group was to write a vision document for this highly future-oriented area of nanotechnology-based healthcare in which experts describe an extrapolation of needs and possibilities until 2020. Beginning of 2006 this Platform has been opened to a wider participation (December 2006: 150 member organisations) and has delivered a so-called Strategic Research Agenda showing a well elaborated common European way of working together for the healthcare of the future trying to match the high expectations that nanomedicine has raised so far.

Policy Objectives:

  • Establish a clear strategic vision in the area resulting in a Strategic Research Agenda
  • Decrease fragmentation in nano-medical research
  • Mobilise additional public and private investment
  • Identify priority areas
  • Boost innovation in nanobiotechnologies for medical use

Topics:

Three key priorities have been confirmed by the stakeholders:

  • Nanotechnology-based diagnostics including imaging
  • Targeted drug delivery and release
  • Regenerative medicine

Dissemination of knowledge, regulatory and IPR issues, standardisation, ethical, safety, environmental and toxicity concerns as well as public perception in general and the input from other stakeholders like insurance companies or patient organisations play an important role.

The CEOs of Philips Medical Systems (Dr. Karvinen) and of Siemens Medical Solutions (Prof. Reinhardt) have taken over the chairmanship of this platform together. At the General Assembly of September 2007, Dr. Steve Rusckowski, CEO of Philips Medical Systems, has replaced Dr. Karvinen as main Co-Chairman. The main Co-Chairs have delegated Paul Smit (Sen. V. Pres., Strat. and Bus. Dev., Philips Medical Systems) and Jan Hoesche (Head of Molec. Med., Siemens Medical Solutions Bus. Dev.) as main Vice Chairmen of the ETP.

On 23rd November 2005 the first official meeting of the founding organisations was held in Eindhoven (NL) on the High Tech Campus of Philips. The participants discussed the Terms of Reference, the structure, participation rules and the opening of the platform to newcomers. Five working groups were created at this meeting and their chairpersons were elected. At the General Assembly on September 12th 2007, Chalkidiki, these five chairpersons were re-elected and a sixth Working Group has been created to overlook regualtory issues. Additionally, representatives of Member State delegations constitute the Mirror Group. The main Vice-Chairmen, the Chairpersons of the Working Groups, the Chairman of the Mirror Group and the observer of the Commission constitute the Executive Board of the ETP Nanomedicine. At present they are:

  • Main Vice Chairmen: Paul Smit (Philips Med) and Jan Hoesche (seconded by Sven Meyburg, Siemens Med)
  • Nano-diagnostics incl. imaging (chair: Patrick Boisseau, CEA, France)
  • Targeted drug delivery and release (chair: Mike Eaton, UCB, UK)
  • Regenerative Medicine (chair: Alessandra Pavesio, FAB, Italy)
  • Ethics and Societal Issues (chair: Klaus Michael Weltring, Bioanalytik-Muenster, Germany)
  • Intellectual Property Rights (chair: Maaike van Velzen, Philips, The Netherlands)
  • Regulatory Issues (chair: Joan-Albert Vericat, Neuropharma, Spain)
  • Mirror Group (chair: Pierre-Noël Lirsac, CEA, France)
  • Observer from the European Commission (Heico Frima)

Membership

The members of the ETP are stakeholder organisations in the field of Nanomedicine including large industry, SMEs, industrial associations, research institutions, academia, hospitals and others. The first members of the working groups were proposed during the 2005 Eindhoven meeting. Further members have been accepted after the opening of the platform in January 2006.

Each member organisation is represented by its officially appointed representative. A list of current member organisations will soon be available on this site.

How to express your interest in a possible participation in this Technology Platform

Your organisation is invited to submit an Expression of Interest that should include a short overview of its activities in the nanomedicine sector and the motivation for participating in this European Technology Platform. For the necessary steps please consult the relevant section of the new ETP website at: http://www.etp-nanomedicine.eu/public/about/membership

Timetable:

26th September 2008: Annual Working Group Assembly / Mirror Group meeting in Madrid, Spain

Meeting website
16th January 2008: Full ETP NanoMedicine/Mirror Group meeting in Brussels, Belgium
Conclusions of the General Assembly (2,79 MB)
12th September 2007: Full ETP NanoMedicine/Mirror Group meeting in Chalkidiki, Greece
Conclusions of the General Assembly (2,07 MB)
Nanomedicine Conference
23rd January 2007: Full ETP NanoMedicine/Mirror Group meeting at FAB, Abano Terme (Padova), Italy
Conclusions (51KB) of the General Assembly
22nd December 2006: Publication of the first calls of the 7th Framework Programme related to nanomedicine: http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/calls
December 2006: Termination of the Strategic Research Agenda NanoMedicine
12th December 2006: Executive Board meeting at Siemens representation in Brussels
Autumn 2006: Draft of the Strategic Research Agenda NanoMedicine
16th May 2006: Second meeting of the enlarged Platform in Brussels to present the draft Strategic Research Agenda
21st March 2006: First meeting of the enlarged Platform at Siemens in Erlangen (Germany) to discuss the intermediate version of the Strategic Research Agenda
January 2006: Opening of the Platform to new members
23rd November 2005: Constitutional meeting of the Platform in Eindhoven, High Tech Campus of Philips
15th September 2005: Deadline for the FP6 NMP call for proposals on "multifunctional organic materials" (STREP)
6th September 2005: Launch of the European Technology Platform on NanoMedicine: Presentation of the Vision Paper at the EuroNanoForum2005 conference
Summer 2005: Finalisation of NanoMedicine vision paper
17th March 2005: Deadline for the FP6 NMP calls for proposals on "nanotechnology-based targeted drug delivery" (IP) and on "biomaterials technologies for implants" (IP-SME)
15th February 2005: Circulation of 2nd draft of the NanoMedicine vision document and launching of wider consultation
24th January 2005: Second meeting of the stakeholders’ group to discuss the first draft of the NanoMedicine vision document and opening for larger industrial consultation
January 2005: First draft of the NanoMedicine vision document
Winter 2004/2005: Preparation of the Action Plan for nanotechnology
Nov/Dec 2004: Evaluation of FP6 joint call NMP/IST on biosensors for diagnosis
6th October 2004: Exploratory meeting with a small group of stakeholders and Commission services to examine the need for an ETP in NanoMedicine, to identify the most important strategic topics, and to initiate drafting of a first vision
24th September 2004: The European Council adopted its conclusions on the Commission Communication welcoming forthcoming initiatives
12th May 2004:

(two Vice-Chairmen of the Platform and Chairpersons of the different working groups):

Paul Smit (Philips Medical Systems, The Netherlands)
Sven Meyburg (Siemens Medical Solutions, Germany)
Enrico Tognana (Fidia Advanced Biopolymers, Italy) for “Regenerative medicine”
Patrick Boisseau (Commissariat à l'énergie atomique CEA, France) for "Nano-diagnostics"
Mike Eaton (UCB Group, UK) for "Drug delivery"
Klaus Michael Weltring (Bioanalityk, Germany) for "Ethics and Societal Issues"
Maaike van Velzen (Philips Intellectual Property & Standards, The Netherlands) for "Intellectual Property Rights"

Commission contact persons:

Heico Frima
Marton Haraszti

Please visit also the websites of the European Technology Platform "Innovative Medicine":

Terms of reference

Please find here the Terms of Reference (40 KB) for the European Technology Platform on NanoMedicine.

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